The nightmarish reality of post-Roe America

In the weeks since six unelected Supreme Court justices struck down the right to abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wadea nightmarish reality looms.

State after state, Republican states are taking extreme measures, turning the clock back decades. State legislatures prevent residents from traveling to get abortions or pills like Plan B, including penalizing doctors who prescribe such pills to patients who live across state lines. Several states are introducing legislation that will imprison people who travel to other states for necessary medical procedures. Texas Republicans have introduced a bill that financially incentivizes individuals to sue people who pressure family and friends for out-of-state abortions, essentially giving them a bounty.

On Wednesday, much of the Republican Party in Congress approved the Heartbeat Protection Act, which would ban abortion in states where it remains legal. Republican Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert, who is president of the National Association of Christian Legislators, said, “Many of us have supported legislation to end human trafficking. . So why is there a pass for people who traffic women in order to make money by aborting their babies? »

The most chilling indication of the new reality is the vicious and reactionary campaign against Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an Indiana University obstetrician-gynecologist who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old girl who became pregnant after to have been raped. This case is a sign of what is to come.

On June 27, just three days after the Supreme Court ruling, a pedophilia doctor from neighboring Ohio contacted Dr. Bernard to inform him that a 10-year-old patient was six weeks and three days pregnant. and could not receive necessary medical care in Ohio. In 2019, the Republican Ohio State Legislature and Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed a law banning abortions after six weeks. The law does not provide an exception for rape or child rape. It could not be applied until Roe vs. Wade was a good law, but the restrictions went into effect hours after the Supreme Court struck it down.

As a result, the 10-year-old was forced to drive several hours to Indiana where she was treated by Dr. Bernard, who reported the incident to Indiana police and authorities. Dr. Bernard informed the Indianapolis Star about aborting the 10-year-old girl in a way that didn’t violate any patient privacy laws. The newspaper published an article on July 1, and after Biden mentioned it at a press conference on July 8, the far right launched an offensive. At this point no arrests had been made, but on July 14 a 27-year-old man was arrested in Columbus, Ohio and police say he confessed to raping the girl at least twice.

The Republican Party, however, claimed the incident was made up. Fox News called the story “BS” and former Trump aide Kellyanne Conway appeared on the network to say the story was fake and “too rich to verify.”

Worst of all, the the wall street journal wrote a statement to the Editorial Board on July 13 titled “An Abortion Story Too Good to Be Confirmed,” which attacked Biden for promoting “whimsical tales,” stating, “The tale is a powerful post-deer sad story for those who want to make abortion an electoral issue this fall. One problem: there is no proof that the girl exists. The Log went on to attack Dr Bernard by name, claiming she had lied for personal political gain: “You may not be surprised to learn that Dr Bernard has a long history of abortion activism in the media.”

The Democratic Party-aligned press accommodated itself to this far-right campaign and cast doubt on Dr. Bernard before the alleged perpetrator’s arrest became known. On July 9, the Washington Post published an article by journalist Glenn Kessler attacking the Indianapolis Star for publishing the story on the grounds that they relied on a single source, Dr. Bernard. The Job implied that Dr. Bernard was not candid, stating that she “refused to identify with the [Washington Post] Fact Check his colleague or the city where the child was. The Job wrote, “History has acquired the status of ‘fact’ regardless of its provenance.”

Indiana State Attorney General Todd Rokita, a Republican Trump supporter, said he is investigating Dr. Bernard and may prosecute her criminally. Rokita called her “that abortion activist acting as a doctor” and falsely claimed that she had not reported the incident as required by Indiana law. When it became clear that she had reported the incident, Rokita continued to demonize Dr. Bernard and said he considered revoking his medical license, even though he had no reason to do so.

As a result of this campaign, Dr. Bernard faced threats of physical violence from the far right. The New York Times published an op-ed by a colleague of Dr. Bernard’s, which asserts: “This saga has had real-world repercussions for Dr. Bernard. Local police have been alerted to concerns about his physical safety. Dr. Bernard’s life is in danger because of this reactionary and violent climate. In May 2009, Dr. George Tiller, a doctor who performed abortions, was murdered by a far-right anti-abortion extremist at Dr. Tiller’s Church in Wichita, Kansas.

The methods of right-wing terrorists have increasingly become the official strategy of the Republican Party. This was expressed most clearly on January 6, 2021, when the Republican Party, led by Donald Trump, staged a coup and attempted to overturn the 2020 election results through physical violence. Trump personally expressed his support for protesters who intended to assassinate Vice President Mike Pence and demanded that metal detectors be removed from the rally on the Ellipse so that his supporters were armed when they attacked the Capitol.

The Democratic Party has refused to take action to end the ongoing assault on democratic rights. On January 6, his leaders in Congress made no appeal to the people to prevent the coup, while Biden took the floor and asked Trump to address the nation on television. The Democratic Party hasn’t lifted a finger in support of abortion rights, with Biden and Vice President Harris repeatedly telling the public that the only solution is to vote to elect Democrats in the mid-term election. term, even though the Democrats already control both houses of Congress.

In recent days, the Democratic Party has begun attacking abortion-rights supporters for overly criticizing the Biden administration’s reluctance to champion abortion. Biden communications director Kate Bedingfield told the Washington Post last week that “Joe Biden’s goal in response to Dobbs [the name of the decision overturning Roe] is not to satisfy some activists who have always been out of step with the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

Other leading Democrats in Congress made similar comments attacking left-wing abortion advocates, defending the Biden administration and demanding voters support Democrats in November. Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) praised Biden’s cursory claim that Democrats should pass legislation upholding abortion rights regardless of filibuster , a proposal that was dead on arrival due to opposition within the Democratic Party. Party itself. “Now we’re talking,” Ocasio-Cortez said, lending political legitimacy to the right-wing Biden administration.

The decrepit state of American “democracy” is such that a tiny right-wing minority of religious zealots dictate social policy in a country where 70% of the population supports abortion rights. No progressive change will come from working within this rotten system. The defense of all basic democratic rights, including the defense of Dr. Bernard, requires the political mobilization of the working class against the entire capitalist political establishment. Such a movement must be linked to the fight against the rising cost of living and the devastating impact of inflation and must be developed outside and against the two parties of capitalist reaction.

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